Minnesota projects, studies and information papers

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration: Section 1135, Lower Otter Tail River, Wilkin County, Minnesota

The project is located in west-central Minnesota along an 11.4 mile stretch of channelized river. Breckenridge, Minnesota, is approximately 8.5 miles downstream of the project area and is the nearest town. The Lower Otter Tail River Channel Improvement Project was constructed in the 1950s to provide protection against the 10-year flood by clearing, enlarging, and straightening the existing river channel. The project reduced the length of the river in this reach from 18 miles to 11 miles. The straightened channel is now characterized by unstable banks, headcutting, excessive sediment loading, degraded in-stream and riparian habitats, and turbidity levels exceeding standard for aquatic life.
Published: 9/12/2016

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration: Section 206, Painter Creek, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Painter Creek is part of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), which includes part of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and its western and northwestern suburbs. The Painter Creek Subwatershed is 8,667 acres (13.5 square miles) located along the northwestern boundary of the MCWD and includes Painter Creek, Katrina Lake, Thies Lake, large areas of undisturbed or low-density development (including Baker Park Reserve) and numerous wetlands. The project area consists of wetlands connected by Painter Creek flowing through South Katrina Marsh and Painters Marsh, then into Jennings Bay on Lake Minnetonka.
Published: 3/14/2016

Beneficial Use of Dredged Material: Section 1122, Upper Pool 4 – Lake Pepin, Bay City, Wisconsin

This project proposes to utilize dredged material generated from navigation channel dredging to protect and restore backwater habitat; this is a win-win-win project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, our partner agencies and the environment. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is the non-federal sponsor.
Published: 9/16/2016

Big Sandy Lake Dam Rehabilitation Project

Sandy Lake Dam has undergone a series of modifications, repairs and periodic inspections over its 125-year history. From 2011 to 2016, a series of above and below water inspections identified several features that had deteriorated to a point that repair or replacement were necessary to maintain the long-term stability of the structure.
Published: 10/1/2018

Continuing Authorities Program: Streambank Protection – Section 14, County Road 50, Crow River, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Repair an eroding highway embankment along the Crow River. The study area is located in a rural setting in western Hennepin County, Minnesota, approximately 40 miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Crow River, a tributary to the Mississippi River, experienced erosion on a reach north of the city of Delano, Minnesota, where the natural course of the river follows a sharp turn adjacent to County Road 50.
Published: 2/26/2015

Dam Bridge & Gate Painting – Lower St. Anthony Falls Through Lock and Dam 10

The project is the routine maintenance, including painting and repair of the dam gates. Phase 1 consisted of report development, including alternatives and life cycle costs. Phase 2 of the project analyzed the alternatives, and decided upon an Indefinite Delivery – Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) acquisition strategy with maintenance performed on site.
Published: 2/26/2015

Disposition Study, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and Lock and Dam 1, Upper Mississippi

Determine whether or not continued operation and ownership of Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1 are in the federal interest, and if not, provides supporting information for deauthorization of the project purposes and disposal of the property.
Published: 3/22/2019

Disposition Study, Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lock and Dam, Upper Mississippi River

Determine whether or not continued operation and ownership of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam (USAF) is in the federal interest, and if not, provide supporting information for deauthorization of the project purposes and disposal of the property. USAF is located on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Published: 3/14/2016

Environmental Infrastructure Assistance: Section 569, Northeastern Minnesota

The Section 569 program authorizes aid from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the public entities in the 18-county northeastern Minnesota area for design and construction assistance for water related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development projects. These projects include wastewater treatment and related facilities, water supply and related facilities, environmental restoration, and surface water resource protection and development.
Published: 2/26/2015

Flood Control Sites (MN): Lake Traverse, Orwell Lake, Red Lake, Big Stone - Highway 75 Dam, Lac qui Parle

All Minnesota flood control sites include flood risk management, recreation and environmental stewardship business line functions. Each has public use facilities for shore fishing, picnicking, bird watching and other activities. The land is actively managed for habitat enhancement. Lake Traverse is on the Minnesota–South Dakota border between Browns Valley, Minnesota, and Wahpeton, North Dakota/Breckenridge, Minnesota. It consists of two dams, two reservoirs and the Browns Valley Dike.
Published: 2/27/2015

Flood Plain Management Services: Minnesota

The program educates individuals who live and work in floodplains on flood hazards and the actions they can take to reduce property damage and prevent the loss of life. The program’s objective is to foster public understanding of the options for dealing with flood hazards and to promote prudent use and management of the nation’s floodplains.
Published: 3/16/2017

Flood Risk Management: Fargo-Moorhead Metro

The Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area is a major health, education, cultural and commercial center. The area is prone to flooding. The Red River of the North has exceeded the National Weather Service flood stage of 18 feet in 55 of the past 118 years (1902 through 2019), with seven of the top 10 floods occurring in the last 30 years. A 500-year event would flood nearly the entire city of Fargo, a large portion of the city of Moorhead and several smaller communities in the area.
Published: 2/27/2015

Flood Risk Management: Minnesota Silver Jackets Team

Silver Jackets teams are collaborative, state-led, interagency teams that are continuously working together to reduce flood risk at the state level. Through the Silver Jackets program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, additional federal, state, and sometimes local and tribal agencies provide a unified approach to addressing a state’s flood risk priorities. Often, no single agency has the complete solution, but each may have one or more pieces to contribute. Silver Jackets team activities and projects occur throughout Minnesota.
Published: 2/26/2015

Hydropower, FERC Licensing

Granting licensing of a privately-owned hydropower project on federal property. The project is proposed to be located at Upper St. Anthony Falls lock and dam, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Published: 2/26/2015

Invasive Carp, Upper Mississippi River

Bighead and silver carp were introduced to the Mississippi River in the 1970s after wastewater treatment ponds were overcome from flooding on the lower Mississippi River. Left uncontrolled, the invasive carp’s feeding habits starve other species and cause turbidity in the waters where they feed, detrimentally altering the habitat that supports native species. Left unchecked, it is concern that the invasive species will continue to expand further upstream into the upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
Published: 9/12/2016

Lac qui Parle Dam

This dam modification and equipment refurbishment project replaces nine sluice gates and associated operating equipment and installs a permanent stop log dewatering system to provide a dry environment to allow for sluice gate and concrete inspection, maintenance, repair and modifications without impeding all flow through the dam. Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River 30 miles east of the South Dakota border. The dam is about seven river miles upstream of Montevideo, Minnesota, and 300 river miles upstream of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Published: 9/25/2017

Lac qui Parle Dam Emergency Spillway; Watson, Minnesota

The Lac qui Parle dike and emergency spillway is designed to retain the Lac qui Parle Reservoir during times of flood but is designed for overtopping during extreme events. The overtop elevation of the spillway is 940.75 feet. The Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River 30 miles east of the South Dakota border. The dam is about seven river miles upstream of Montevideo, Minnesota. The dike and emergency spillway is adjacent to and west of the dam between the dam and County Hwy 75. The damaged area of the spillway extends approximately 2,500 feet from the dam.
Published: 4/16/2020

Levee Safety Program: Minnesota

The basic objectives of the Levee Safety Program are to develop balanced and informed assessments of levees within the program; evaluate, prioritize and justify levee safety decisions; and recommend improvements to public safety associated with levee systems. The Corps created the National Levee Database, inventoried all levees in the program and improved inspection procedures. The Corps is developing a method to manage its portfolio of levee systems and is reviewing and revising current levee-related policies and procedures.
Published: 2/26/2015

Lower Pool 4 Dredged Material Management Plan – Wabasha County, Minnesota; Buffalo and Pepin Counties, Wisconsin

The Lower Pool 4 DMMP study area is located between Lock and Dam 4 and the foot of Lake Pepin, river miles 753.0 to 764.0. The study area includes the Minnesota communities in Wabasha County of Lake City, Wabasha, Reads Landing and Kellogg and the Wisconsin communities in Buffalo and Pepin Counties of Nelson, Alma and Buffalo City.
Published: 3/15/2018

Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, Minnesota

The purpose of this project is to modify the existing Marsh Lake Dam to increase the bio-diversity of the Minnesota River/Lac qui Parle/Pomme de Terre River ecosystem without compromising the flood risk management function of the Marsh Lake Dam. Marsh Lake is located on the Minnesota River between Swift and Lac qui Parle counties near Appleton, Minnesota. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and maintains Marsh Lake Dam as part of the Lac qui Parle Flood Risk Management project. The fixed-crest dam holds a conservation pool in the upper portion of the Lac qui Parle Reservoir.
Published: 2/27/2015

Minnesota River Navigation Project

The St. Paul District is responsible for maintaining the 9-foot navigation channel on the Minnesota River from the mouth in St. Paul, Minnesota , to river mile 14.7 in Savage, Minnesota, and 4-foot channel depth from river mile 14.7 to 25.6 in Shakopee, Minnesota. Annual channel maintenance actions are required to maintain the congressionally authorized 9-foot channel depth. These channel maintenance activities consist of dredging, snag removal, and close monitoring of the conditions. The St. Paul District dredges approximately 19,000 cubic yards of material per year from seven distinct locations on the Minnesota River. Both government and contract hydraulic and mechanical dredges are used. Dredged material placement is planned for the long-term and is actively managed to maximize beneficial use of the material and to minimize adverse environmental impacts within the riverine environment.
Published: 9/27/2021

Mississippi River Headwaters Reservoirs

The Mississippi River Headwaters Project consists of six headwaters dams in north-central Minnesota. Cross Lake, Gull Lake, Big Sandy Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Pokegama Lake and Leech Lake make up the system. They were constructed or reconstructed between 1900 and 1913 (work on Pokegama started in 1884 and Winnibigoshish in 1885) to aid navigation on the Mississippi River between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Because the navigation mission of the headwater’s dams declined with the creation of the upper Mississippi River 9-foot navigation channel and as recreation grew in importance to the region’s economy, the mission shifted to flood risk management, recreation and environmental stewardship.
Published: 3/21/2019

Mississippi River Lock and Dam 1, Ambursen Dam Downstream Repair

The purpose of this project is to re-establish armor downstream of the concrete apron and prevent further scour. Lock and Dam 1 is located on the Minneapolis, Minnesota side of the Mississippi River.
Published: 2/26/2015

Mississippi River Lock and Dam 6, Guidewall End Cell

The purpose of this project is to extend the longevity of the guidewalls at each of our locks and dams and to reduce operability issues and required maintenance. An end cell would provide adequate protection of the end monolith along the guidewalls, while the past crib grouting component will add stability. Lock and Dams 2 through 10, which are located from Hastings, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa.
Published: 3/16/2017

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Embankment Rehabilitation Adjacent to Structures

Embankment rehabilitation will address restoring embankments to meet current design standards. Overtopping protection adjacent to concrete structures is the first priority for design and construction. No increase in the height of the embankments is planned. Upper Mississippi Locks and Dams 2 through 10.
Published: 2/26/2015

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Non-Structural Embankment Repair

The non-structural embankment repair projects at Locks and Dams (LD) 2 through 10 will address restoring embankments to meet current design standards. Most dam embankments are currently protected from the erosive forces of water by a layer of riprap placed along the embankment’s length. When the riprap eventually erodes, the embankment itself will erode if more protection is not added. Upper Mississippi Locks and Dams 2 through 10.
Published: 3/22/2019

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Tow Rail System

The tow rail system is integral to the operation of each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10. It is attached to the top of the lock guidewall and helps guide tows through the lock chamber. Each system is comprised of an operating unit, rail and traveling kevel or “mule.” The Locks and Dams 2 through 10 tow rail systems have been deteriorating over the past several years, requiring rehabilitation of these systems.
Published: 3/14/2016

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 3–10 Sheet Pile Installation at Auxiliary Locks

Locks and Dams 3 through 10 have auxiliary chambers. Each auxiliary chamber has only a single set of miter gates that could pass shallow draft navigation traffic if the lock chamber was out of operation and the upstream and downstream pools were equalized. At each site, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only installed one set of miter gates. An auxiliary lock chamber was never authorized by Congress, which would have included a second set of miter gates. Since installation, the auxiliary emergency gates have never been used, and the gate operating machinery was never installed.
Published: 9/12/2016

National Loon Center Facility, Public Docks and Shoreline Protection Project, Crosslake, MN: Review Outgrant Request (REC, ENS)

The National Loon Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, is proposing the construction of a 15,000 square-foot National Loon Center Facility as well as 3,100 linear feet of shoreline protection efforts at the Cross Lake Recreation Area. The center will include a welcoming entrance and lobby area, interpretive displays, an aquarium, indoor/outdoor classrooms, laboratory, gift shop, conference rooms and office space, and a kitchen designed for concessions and large group events. The architectural design of the facility will conform to a “Northwoods” theme with fountains and a fireplace. Loon focused learning opportunities will extend beyond the interpretive exhibits and into the bay and throughout a trail system along the shoreline. An interpretive trail, multi-slip docks, and shoreline protection measures will provide visitors with a unique and educational experience.
Published: 9/24/2019

Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP)

The Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), seeks to provide a safe, reliable, cost effective and environment sustainable waterborne navigation system by implementing switchboats at five locks, constructing mooring cells and seven new 1,200 foot locks. NESP will restore the aquatic and terrestrial habitat to a more natural condition on more than 100,000 acres throughout the system through a wide variety of ecosystem projects.
Published: 3/5/2020

Pigs Eye Islands CAP 204 Beneficial Use of Dredge Material, St. Paul, Minnesota

Pigs Eye Lake is located in Ramsey County, just east of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. Due to the lake’s close proximity to the Mississippi River, the lake water level is controlled by the level of the river. The lake is located in the Mississippi River Bottomlands Subwatershed.
Published: 2/26/2015

Planning Assistance to States: Big Sandy Lake Fish Movement, Aitkin County, Minnesota

The purpose of the study is to: • Estimate escapement rates through the dam of fish from Big Sandy Lake in relation to environmental and chronological conditions • Estimate the proportion of the fish population that remain in the lake compared with those that move upriver in the watershed • Estimate mortality rates of fish • Estimate angler harvest of Walleye, Northern Pike, Black Crappie and Yellow Perch in Big Sandy Lake • Monitor population dynamics for Walleye, Northern Pike, Tullibee, Black Crappie and Yellow Perch
Published: 9/27/2021

Planning Assistance to States: Mississippi River Water Level Management

The purpose of this comprehensive plan is to: (1) develop regionally-supported action plans for managing pool water levels; (2) improve knowledge of biological responses to water level manipulation, improving public knowledge and engagement; and (3) increase the feasibility and affordability of water level management.
Published: 3/15/2018

Planning Assistance to States: Red River Basin Comprehensive Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of various flood risk reduction measures basin-wide to reduce main stem peak flows by 20% for the larger rare events such as the 0.5 (200-year) and 0.2% (500-year) chance of exceedance floods.
Published: 9/27/2021

Planning Assistance to States: Red River Basin Long Term Flood Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of various flood risk reduction measures basin wide to reduce main stem peak flows by 20% for the larger rare events such as the 0.5% (200-year) and 0.2% (500-year) chance of exceedance floods.
Published: 3/22/2019

Planning Assistance to States: Valley Branch Watershed District, Landlocked Basin Study, Minnesota

The Valley Branch Watershed District (VBWD) project is a comprehensive planning study to assess water level management options for nine landlocked lakes and ponds at risk for flooding in Washington County, Minnesota. This study identifies and assesses alternatives to manage high-water conditions to protect homes, roadways, sewage systems, and other critical infrastructure in the VBWD.
Published: 9/27/2021

Pool 2 Dredged Material Management Plan – Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota and Washington Counties, Minnesota

The purpose of the Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) is to prepare a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material in Pool 2. This plan was initiated due to increases in dredging volumes throughout Pool 2. Furthermore, three temporary dredged material placement sites need to be excavated in Lower Pool 2.
Published: 3/15/2018

Pool 2 Wing Dam Modification Project, Upper Mississippi River Pool 2, Minnesota

This project will notch a series of wing dams throughout Pool 2 in order to improve main channel border habitat for fishes. Wing dam notching will enable downstream scouring, which creates overwintering habitat. The project area is in the middle and lower half of Pool 2, Upper Mississippi River, downstream of St. Paul, Minnesota; spanning Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties, Minnesota.
Published: 11/24/2020

Pool 6 Dredged Material Management Plan – Winona County, Minnesota; Buffalo and Trempealeau Counties, Wisconsin

The purpose of the Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) is to prepare a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material from Pool 6. The Pool 6 DMMP study area is located between Lock and Dam 5A at river mile 728.5 and Lock and Dam 6 at river mile 714.1. The study area borders the city of Winona, Minnesota, at the upstream end and extends downstream of the village of Trempealeau, Wisconsin.
Published: 3/15/2018

Small-Boat Harbor Dredging, St. Paul, Minnesota

The St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor is on the lower end of Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minnesota, at Upper Mississippi River mile 839.6 on the right descending bank. The length of the harbor is 2,375 feet; the width varies from 200 to 400 feet. The Corps of Engineers is authorized to maintain the harbor to a depth of 5.0 feet below low control pool elevation of 687.2 feet mean sea level (msl). The city of St. Paul is the non-federal sponsor for the project and is required to furnish a suitable placement site for the dredged material.
Published: 10/2/2015

Tribal Partnership Program

The Tribal Partnership Program (TPP) provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to utilize TPP to perform water-related planning activities and activities related to the study, design and construction of water resources development projects located primarily on tribal lands that substantially benefit federally-recognized tribes. To start the process, a tribe submits a study request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps evaluates the request, and if viable, the Corps works with the tribe to determine a scope of work and enters into a feasibility cost sharing agreement (FCSA). Following the execution of the FCSA, the Corps seeks federal funding for the study.
Published: 9/25/2017

Tribal Partnership Program: Lower Sioux Indian Community

The study will assess the problems and opportunities being faced by the Lower Sioux Indian Community on their tribal lands and make recommendations related to erosion along the Minnesota River adjacent to and impacting those lands. The Lower Sioux Indian Community is located south of the Minnesota River in Redwood County, approximately 2 miles south of the city of Morton, Minnesota.
Published: 11/24/2020

Tribal Partnership Program: Sturgeon Lake

The purpose of the project is to address sedimentation, erosion and degradation of culturally significant habitat on Prairie Island Indian Community’s tribal land in Sturgeon Lake. Priority objectives identified in the feasibility study, which will be carried forward in the design and implementation phase are to: (1) reduce shoreline erosion on the Buffalo Slough Island; and (2) improve/restore floodplain forest habitat on Buffalo Slough Island.
Published: 3/20/2018

Tribal Partnership Program: Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota River

The study will assess the problems and opportunities being faced by the Upper Sioux Community on their tribal lands and make recommendations related to erosion along the Minnesota River adjacent to and impacting those lands. The Upper Sioux Community is located south of the Minnesota River in Yellow Medicine County, approximately four miles south of the city of Granite Falls, Minnesota.
Published: 4/14/2020

Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway System Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP)

Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) is a long-term program of ecosystem restoration and navigation improvements for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). NESP will improve system capacity and reduce commercial traffic delays through construction of seven new 1,200-foot locks, mooring cells, and switchboat implementation.
Published: 12/2/2020

Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project Locks and Dams, Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District is responsible for maintaining 244 miles of the Upper Mississippi River 9-foot channel navigation system from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa. The Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project is located in or contiguous to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The navigation project within the St. Paul District includes 13 locks and dams that are operated and maintained by the Corps. In addition to the locks and dams, the project includes channel maintenance, recreation and natural resource activities.
Published: 2/27/2015

Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project Maintenance Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining a 9-foot navigation channel as an important component to the inland navigation system. The St. Paul District (MVP) is responsible for maintaining 244 miles of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project from the head of navigation at Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa. The navigation project also includes the lower navigable portions of the Minnesota, St. Croix, and Black Rivers.
Published: 2/26/2015

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Bass Ponds Marsh & Wetland Habitat Restoration

The hydrology in the area has changed significantly, driven in part by change in land use and climate. The proposed project aims to improve habitat for aquatic vegetation and migratory waterfowl by providing water level management capabilities that target management goals of the refuge. This study area is located within the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in an urban floodplain area near the cities of Shakopee and Savage, Minnesota. The lake and marsh areas are south of the Minnesota River (river miles 15‒21) and include Blue Lake, Fisher Lake, Rice Lake and the adjacent Continental Grain Marsh.
Published: 3/15/2018

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa Habitat Restoration

This program, authorized by Congress in 1986, emphasizes habitat rehabilitation and enhancement projects (HREPs) and long-term resource monitoring. The HREP component includes dredging backwater areas and channels, constructing dikes, creating and stabilizing islands, controlling side channel flows and water levels, and creating floodplain forest habitat.
Published: 3/20/2017

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Reno Bottoms, Pool 9, Upper Mississippi River

The primary objective of this project is to protect, restore, or create resilient and diverse bottomland forests. The quality and extent of the unique forest and aquatic habitat in the Reno Bottoms project area has been declining over the past several decades. Human caused changes in hydrology, land use, and climate have increased water levels within the project area. Without action, the project area will continue to degrade. The quality of forest and aquatic habitat will decrease. Invasive grasses would expand into forests, limiting opportunities for smaller trees to grow and reducing habitat value. Additional loss of wetland habitat would adversely affect migrating waterbirds and songbirds who require the floodplain forest to stop and rest.
Published: 3/22/2019